Personal Emergency Response Systems Program
The Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) allows frail seniors to live independently, and provides both seniors and their family members with the security of knowing that help in a medical emergency is literally only the push of a button away. Trained personnel are available 24 hours a day to respond when a senior pushes the “HELP” button on their communicator and sends a message to the response center. Participating in the program provides peace of mind that help is always available quickly in an emergency. 375 individuals in Hillsborough Country were enrolled in the program last year.
The Nashua Seniors Count initiative began in November 2006 as a group of over 35 community leaders worked together to identify the unmet needs of elderly community residents. The group continues to works to develop a strategy to help address those unmet needs.
With a concentration on providing seniors with the information they need to make informed decisions as they age, the Seniors Count-Nashua collaborative coordinates a series of monthly workshops where specific issues, including how to talk to your doctor, the role nutrition plays in staying healthy, understanding and caring for a loved one with dementia, how to avoid falls, remaining safe behind the wheel and the benefits of laughter. Over 250 seniors have benefited from the information provided through these workshops as over 18 representatives from local and state government, area businesses and non-profits have served as workshop presenters. Each workshop is broadcast on the local educational station in Nashua on Comcast Channel 99.
The Nashua-based Seniors Count initiative works closely with the RSVP Fixit Corps to coordinate volunteer groups to rake the yards of area seniors. Four seniors had their yards rakes in 2013 through this coordinated effort.
In October, 25+ nurses and nursing students from St. Joseph Hospital held a Game Night for residents at the Davidson Landing Senior Housing site. In addition to engaging the residents in a number of games, the nurses provided food and special health screenings for seniors who attended the event.
Western Hillsborough County Family Services
Western Hillsborough County Family Services (WHCFS) responds to identified service gaps and barriers to the economic, physical, social and emotional well-being of low-income families in Hillsborough County. This is accomplished through a collaborative effort between Southern New Hampshire Services and other organizations and businesses in the Peterborough area. Services provided include access to food, rent assistance, parent education, education advocacy, drug and alcohol education, adult literacy, family support, custody information, assisting adults with preparation for the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET – formerly the GED) and a myriad of other social services.
WHCFS’ goal is to provide long-term services to help strengthen families and provide the tools for self-sufficiency. It has been an established program at the Riverview Housing Complex in Peterborough for 17 years. Based on the success of the program at Riverview, these services were added at Pine View Village
The Children’s Program component of WHCFS operates year-round, with academic assistance and various activities during the school year, and recreational program during the summer.
The summer program offers arts and crafts, sports, outdoor activities and field trips, which include camping, hiking local mountains, botanical parks, boating, swimming and a trip to the ocean. For children who often do not leave the confines of the housing projects within which they live and do not have the benefit of a family-type summer vacation, the field trips are a crucial part of the summer program and the children’s developmental process.
For more than 23 years SNHS has provided a handicapped-accessible van for use in the western area of Hillsborough County to provide transportation for the area’s for low-income, elderly, and handicapped individuals. Arranging for simple trips to the grocery store, pharmacy or doctor’s office is a major issue for members of this population in the rural western part of Hillsborough County. The van is stationed at our Greenville Falls elderly housing complex and provided 1,128 rides between several area towns for local residents in 2013.
In 2013 SNHS received the brand new van that was awarded in 2012 by the NH Department of Transportation with funding from the Federal Transit Administration. This new vehicle will ensure that reliable transportation is available for vulnerable individuals for years to come.
Long Term Disaster Recovery
The last several years have seen significant weather “events” which caused a great deal of property destruction, and had a significant long-lasting impact on the lives of hundreds of families statewide. The Mother’s Day flood of 2006, the April Nor’easter flood of 2007, tornadoes, and the ice storm of December 2009, all required immediate assistance in the immediate aftermath, and case management from the Long Term Disaster Recovery Team. This team helps to strengthen area-wide recovery coordination in Hillsborough County by sharing information, simplifying resident access to services and fiscal resources and helping to resolve cases of those affected by these disasters. SNHS is proud to be a part of the statewide network of Community Action Agencies assisting families in their struggle to recover from natural disasters.